Fresh Footsteps

There’s something incredibly magical about being the first one to make footprints in freshly fallen snow. Snow was still swirling all around us on our morning walk yesterday. Though it may be April, Mother Nature decided we needed just a bit more snow. 2 lovely inches floated down around me and the pups, sticking in Charlie’s collie fur and making him look a bit like Balto. Nala and Layla pranced around, enjoying the cool, fresh air. We were the only ones out walking; even the cars on the nearby busy road were sparse. Everyone seemed to be inside, enjoying hot cocoa and feeling like it’s December again. Evergreen trees balanced fresh mounds of snow on their branches, making our field resemble an image from Currier and Ives. The only tracks in the snow were mine and 12 pawprints, though the dogs’ prints were much more scattered and excited.

The only downside to our fresh snow is that the temperatures have been higher recently, making the snow on the ground melt and over-water the ground. Most areas have become mud-quicksands. I bought break-up boots (this season is called break up season, as the snow and ice are breaking apart) to help me wade through mud while walking the dogs. Because our four-plex is a fairly new development, the lot next to us is empty. It has hills and valleys of dirt that while snow covered provided loads of fun for us and the pups (Nala apparently thinks she’s a mountain goat and climbs every incline-shockingly successfully– she can find). Now that the snow has melted, we have giant piles of thick, gooey, suck-your-shoes-off, could-easily-double-for-the-fire-swamp-in-the-Princess Bride, muddy mud. There’s a sloping incline behind our building leading up to a flat, still snowy field.     This is the best place to walk our pups, but it’s also the hardest to get to. Climbing even the slightest slope in mud is no easy feet, and this slope is most certainly not slight.

Fresh snow is tricky in many ways; it is surprisingly slippery and hides the typically visible muddy tracts of land. While enjoying our fresh footprints (and pawprints), I discovered the hard way how much the snow hides the mud. I took one step and my foot was somehow two to three inches lower.  I sunk quickly. Thankfully the pups were already far ahead (yay for extendable leashes) and I hauled myself out of the mud. Thankfully the pebbles and stones could still be mostly made out through the snow, and I stuck (haha, bad pun) to those areas, as they are generally less muddy.

Regardless of snow and mud and all the trickery, there’s just something special about being the first one to leave a mark on a freshly snowed upon world. Even if it is April.

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